Tips for Managing Insurance Companies After a Car Accident
The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. is all too familiar with the challenges car accident victims face. Managing the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be one such challenge. Injuries can be debilitating, making it difficult to even consider facing stress and often uncomfortable negotiations. At The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C., we make it our business to support our clients when it comes to insurance companies.
Each Denver, Colorado auto accident lawyer from our firm has extensive legal experience in representing our clients who have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers. We are well versed with the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies, here are some tips when working with an insurance company after an accident:
Tip #1 Know the Worth of Your Claim
Assigning the proper value to your claim can be tricky to do without the guidance of a Denver CO auto accident lawyer. You will want to be sure that you ask for an amount that allows you recoup for your losses. Knowing the worth of your claim involves taking a look at how the accident has impacted you:
- Property damage
- Medical costs
- The impact on your income
- Pain and suffering
The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. will carefully review your case by reviewing the circumstances surrounding the crash and the injuries you are facing as a result. Your auto accident lawyer in Denver CO will determine what your bottom lines are so that you are able to walk away from negotiations satisfied.
Tip #2 Be Careful What You Say
An insurance company may ask for you to make a recorded statement. Prior to having any conversations with the insurance company, you should first consult with your Denver CO auto accident lawyer. In many cases, an attorney will do the talking for you. This is in efforts to safeguard your potential settlement offer. Recorded settlements are utilized by the insurance companies in efforts to reduce the settlement you may be entitled to. If you are required to give a statement, your attorney can prepare you and protect you during this process so that you do not say anything that could have an impact on the settlement you may be eligible for.
Tip #3 Be Prepared to Negotiate
Pursuing a claim with an insurance company almost always involves some level of negotiations. Each auto accident lawyer from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. is experienced in negotiating accident cases with insurance companies. In many cases, the first offer from the insurance company may be a low one. We will communicate with them to uncover reasons behind their offer and work to maximize your settlement through the negotiation process.
Tip #4 Let Your Denver CO Auto Accident Lawyer Do the Talking
Attorneys like The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. are savvy in managing insurance companies. Although it can be tempting to speak with the insurance company yourself, this is not an ideal situation to put yourself in. Although the conversation you have may seem fairly straightforward, insurance companies are looking to gather information that could result in a lower settlement offer. In efforts to be helpful by answering their questions, you could inadvertently say something that impacts their valuation of your claim.
For accident victims, the road ahead can be a long and painful one. The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. can stand by you when facing insurance companies. We will make every effort to alleviate as much stress as possible. Dealing with an insurance company can be especially challenging. With the help of an auto accident lawyer Denver CO clients recommend, we can manage the insurance company and the details regarding your accident claim so that you are able to focus on your recovery.
What to do After an Accident
Immediately after an accident, it is crucial that you make sure you are ok. You will probably be feeling a kick of adrenaline that is possibly hiding your injuries. Once the adrenaline goes down, you will be able to know more in depth about possible injuries that you received from the accident. If you think that you are ok, then checking to make sure if the other drivers (if there were any) are ok is something that you can do. Make sure not to incriminate yourself though by saying you were at fault. All of the details are not yet known in the crash, so do not state this. Once the police have arrived and written their report, make sure to get a copy of it. Your auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. will want to review it and use it in your case.
Go to The Doctor or Hospital if Needed
Even if you feel that your aches or pains are minor, lawyers from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. recommend that you consult with a doctor to confirm from a medical professional that you are ok. Days after a crash some victims of car accidents see an uptick in their pain. This is why it is important to get checked out and to also have a record of the injuries following the accident. If your injuries are more severe, then do not hesitate to visit the hospital after the accident. Your health and wellbeing are the most important thing to keep in mind following an accident. Your auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO wants you to know that medical bills and hospital visits can be included in your possible settlement claim later on.
Do Not Admit Fault
Sometimes some people feel guilty after an accident when it is later on determined it wasn’t even their fault. Faulty equipment in your car could’ve caused the crash or you may not even be found to be 1% at fault for the accident. Even if you feel you were at fault, make sure not to say this to the police or to the other drivers in the accident if there were any. There’s a chance that your fault admission could hurt you later on.
Watch Out for Social Media
Many people turn to social media to voice their frustrations or to speak about their day. Discussing auto accidents on social media could be something that could come back to bite you if you are not careful about what you post. An auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO will tell you to not post anything about the accident on social media. This is because insurance companies generally will try to get access to viewing the content that you post on different social media networks. This information could come back to hurt you in the future if the car accident case goes to court. It could also affect the potential settlement that you may receive from your case. It is best to keep this in mind and avoid social media altogether regarding your accident. You will not want to say anything that possibly suggests you were at fault for the accident.
What if I was partially at fault for my injury accident?
It’s expected that an injury victim might wonder how much their culpability will affect their claim for an accident primarily caused by another party. If the victim was fatally injured, their surviving family member may have the same question for a personal injury lawyer if the deceased was partially at fault for what happened. Very often an injury accident is more complicated than it seems on the surface, and for this reason it’s important to turn to a seasoned personal injury lawyer for guidance.
At the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. we have assisted members of the Denver community for many years. In the interim, we have handled thousands of cases. As a result, our personal injury lawyer is well aware that things are not always what they seem. This is particularly true with serious accidents as the resulting chaos, pain, fear, and other emotions can interfere with a victim’s perception. In fact, they may not have had the capacity to clearly understand how the accident happened because their eyes were closed, they were in a great deal of pain, and other factors played into the events.
Who was at fault for the accident?
Laws vary from state to state. In some areas of the country, the amount of compensation to which a victim is entitled is in direct proportion to the percentage of their fault for the accident. In other words, if they were equally responsible as the other party for causing the accident (50% liability) then they can only collect half of their damage total from the other party. This is known as comparative fault.
There are other factors that can come into play as well. When our personal injury lawyer takes a case, one of the first things on the task list is to determine exactly how the accident happened. With an objective eye and careful review of the evidence, it’s not unusual to discover that an injured victim was not responsible for the accident. At all. To their surprise, they may be eligible to receive full compensation for their damages. This is another reason why it’s so important to turn to a seasoned personal injury lawyer for legal guidance. We don’t charge for the first consultation, so take the opportunity to discuss your case with our personal injury lawyer as the feedback may be helpful to you.
How is fault determined?
Accidents can be straight-forward or complex, depending on the circumstances of the accident. When it’s just two people involved, in a public area with lots of reliable witnesses, an obvious injury, and a law enforcement officer already on scene, then determining who was at fault should be relatively easy. However, the circumstances as described are a rare combination. More likely is that it will be your word against the other party’s word. The evidence that your personal injury lawyer may rely on to prove the other party is responsible for your damages might include any of the following:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Medical records of your injury
- Physical evidence such as damage to the cars involved or other damage if it was not a car accident
- Eyewitness testimony (including your own)
- Police report of the accident
If you were involved in an accident and suffered a serious injury, contact our Denver office. Our personal injury lawyer can review your case at no charge.
FAQ: Emotional Trauma Due to an Auto Accident
As an auto accident lawyer Denver, Colorado residents choose for legal assistance can tell you, bruises, broken bones, lacerations, and even concussions are common results from car accidents. However, an auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO understands that there is another type of injury that does not always get its due: the emotional trauma a victim sustains from a car collision. Physical injuries can be much easier to identify and treat than severe emotions, mental difficulties, and debilitating fear. What follows are answers to some of the most common questions victims ask an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO victims trust.
What is emotional trauma?
Emotional trauma is often lumped with psychological trauma. These traumas result when an event goes out of your control, and the stress is extreme. Oftentimes these events shatter any sense of security you had, and may make you feel helpless in a big world. This type of trauma can leave you struggling with a numb feeling, being disconnected and unable to trust other people.
These experiences often involve a threat to your life or your safety, but really any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or isolated can cause trauma, even without physical harm. It isn’t objective to the circumstances to determine whether you have trauma, but your emotional experience of the event.
This type of trauma can be caused by:
- One-time events, like an accident, injury or attack. It’s especially likely if the attack or accident was unexpected or happened when you were a child.
- Stress that is ongoing, relentlessly. This could be related to any aspect of your life—like living in a neighborhood with crime, fighting for your life against an illness, or events that occur repeatedly such as bullying, domestic abuse, and childhood neglect.
- Commonly overlooked causes are: having surgery in the first three years of life, the sudden death of someone close to you, breaking up with your romantic partner, or being humiliated in public on purpose.
This type of trauma can be caused at any point in time, but it is more likely to happen again if you’re already under a heavy load of stress, have suffered a series of significant losses, or have been traumatized before (such as being traumatized as a child; in fact the earlier the trauma occurred the worse it can affect you). Childhood traumas result from anything that disrupts a child’s sense of safety.
Some causes of childhood trauma are:
- Living in an unstable or unsafe environment.
- Experiencing an unstable or unsafe environment (such as school).
- Being separated from your parents.
- Having a serious illness.
- Having many medical procedures that are especially intrusive done.
- Being sexually, verbally, mentally, or physically abused.
- Experiencing domestic violence, even if you just witness it.
- Being neglected by your caretakers.
Childhood trauma can cause severe and long-lasting effects on your person. If this trauma is not dealt with, you may grow up feeling afraid and helpless, and that’s going to set the stage for further trauma down the road. But if your trauma happened many years ago you can take steps to overcome it, learn from it, and learn to trust and reconnect with people again.
There is no right or wrong way to think, feel, or respond when you have trauma. In fact, everyone reacts differently to trauma, so you should never try to compare your trauma to another person’s, especially when it comes to comparing trauma responses. If nothing else, reach out to a lawyer that’s associated with your trauma—like an auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO if you were traumatized in an auto accident. Let them help you get compensation and recover losses, that should give you closure and help you feel safer.
What are the Symptoms of Emotional Trauma?
It is normal for people to feel stress following a car accident. However, for some victims, the level of stress can intensify and lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or driving phobias. Common symptoms of emotional trauma after a crash include the following:
- Shock or denial
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anger/irritability/mood swings
- Anxiety and fear
- Withdrawing from loved ones
- Feeling hopeless
- Disconnection & feeling numb
- Sleeping too much
- On edge, being started easily
- Racing heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tension
How Long Does Emotional Trauma Last?
The duration is different for every person. Trauma symptoms usually last anywhere from a few days to months, and gradually fade as time goes on. Once you start to get better, you may feel troubled once in a while due to being exposed to reminders associated with the traumatic accident. It may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist in addition to a Denver auto accident lawyer. A therapist’s role is to be an unbiased, non-judgemental person who can help you get through difficult emotions. It can be beneficial for those who are suffering from intense fears, and symptoms have not gotten better over time.
What Factors Contribute to Emotional Trauma After an Accident?
Every person is unique and is affected differently by a car accident. An auto accident lawyer Denver, CO locals recommend might tell you that the level of trauma that a person may experience depends on many factors:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Severity of physical injuries due to the accident
- Lack of social support or coping strategies
- Death or serious injury to passengers in the car
- Feeling guilty or shame associated with the crash
- Fear of getting into a vehicle
- Complete avoidance of driving
Are There Ways to Manage Emotional Trauma Every Day?
In addition to therapy, practicing taking care of yourself can help you move forward from the accident. By tending to your body, mind, and soul through the following techniques, you are strengthening your foundation to tackle the bigger challenges associated with emotional trauma.
- Spend time outdoors
- Take time for hobbies
- Practice an art form (drawing, painting, photography)
- Eat healthy
- Avoid excess use of alcohol or drugs
- Exercise daily
- Connect with friends and family
- Practice meditation and mindfulness
You may feel tempted to isolate yourself so you do not have to talk about the traumatic event with friends or family. But, by connecting with others you may feel more engaged, supported, and accepted by your loved ones. Additionally, there may be a support group in your area for survivors of trauma. Sometimes, hearing another person’s story can inspire you to invest energy into your own recovery, in addition to learning new coping strategies.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many injuries that a person can sustain when they are in an auto accident, such as fractured bones, road rash, bruises, and more. These physical injuries are visible ones, but there are other types of injuries that are not so visible – emotional injuries. One type of emotional injury that the Denver, CO auto accident lawyer from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. often see is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Not only are emotional injuries like PTSD difficult to diagnose, but they are also injuries that many insurance companies will attempt to deny a claim for. The insurance company will either claim that the victim was already suffering from the condition or they may even accuse the victim of faking their condition. If they do recognize that the accident caused the victim to develop PTSD, then they may try to put the blame for the accident onto the victim in order to have a reason for denying the claim.
This is just one of the many reasons why victims of auto accidents should contact a skilled auto accident lawyer serving Denver, CO for assistance and making sure their rights are protected.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Any individual who experiences a traumatic event can develop PTSD. An auto crash certainly qualifies as a traumatic event, especially when the victim has suffered serious or severe injuries. Some of the more common PTSD symptoms a victim may experience on a regular basis include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having recurring flashbacks about the crash. This can happen even more frequently when the victim is traveling in a vehicle.
- Having recurring nightmares about the crash
- Loss of interest in motorcycling
- No interest in the activities that the victim enjoyed prior to the crash
- Obsessing about the crash
- Refusing to be near the location where the crash occurred
- Suffering from emotional outbursts. These can sometimes turn violent.
- Suffering from feelings of gloom and doom
- Suffering from high stress and/or anxiety
- Suffering from insomnia and sleeplessness
- Unable to remember details of the crash
- Unable to stay focused on tasks
- Withdrawing from family and friends
As mentioned above, it is very likely the insurance company will try to deny the victim’s claim of PTSD. They may try to claim the victim had struggled with depression or anxiety before the crash. They may even use any prior therapy or psychological treatments the victim may have had in the past.
In order to prove that the victim’s PTSD is a result of the auto accident experience they had, the victim should consult with a mental health professional to verify the diagnosis of PTSD and to begin the recommended treatment plan.
It will also likely be necessary for the victim’s auto accident lawyer for Denver, CO to have a mental health professional testify during the lawsuit trial. This expert will be able to confirm the victim’s condition and its connection to the auto crash, as well as discuss the treatment the victim should have and what the cost of that treatment will be.
The mental health professional can also testify to the ways the accident triggered the PTSD condition, even if the victim did suffer from anxiety or depression prior to the crash.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto crash and are dealing with PTSD, as well as other injuries, contact an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO trusts from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. today to find out how we can help.
An Auto Accident Lawyer Denver, CO Community Members Turn To
To learn how we may be able to help you recover your damages after a collision, call The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. to speak with a respected auto accident lawyer Denver, CO offers.
Protect Yourself Post Car Accident Through Legal Insight
A person who became the victim in a car accident may end up suffering the consequences of another’s poor behavior on the road. As the victim, you may have to pay out of your very own pocket for medical bills and other losses related to the incident. An auto accident lawyer in Denver CO from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. believes that this isn’t fair, and you deserve compensation for what happened.
Our law firm is dedicated to offering legal strategies and insight to those in this community impacted by tragic events. If you or someone you care about has endured loss because of a vehicle collision, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for questions and a consultation.
Protect Yourself from Being Taken Advantage Of
Victims of car accidents who are not knowledgeable in legalities may unknowingly get taken advantage of. An insurance adjuster may call you for a statement seeming empathetic when in reality he or she is trying to get the claim minimized or denied. It can add salt to the wound if you find yourself tricked because you didn’t know any better. A Denver CO auto accident lawyer from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. can help protect you against representatives related to the car accident, who do not have your best of intentions in mind.
Do Not Accept a Low Settlement
It can be challenging for the average person to negotiate a settlement without assistance from a legal professional. You may be offered a settlement by an insurance company that is far too low. Sometimes, it requires intervention from a Denver CO auto accident lawyer at The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. to get your settlement amount raised. If this isn’t possible, then we may recommend you prepare for a lawsuit instead.
Getting Ready for a Lawsuit
After receiving a consultation, you and your auto accident lawyer may decide that filing a civil lawsuit against the other driver for compensation is what makes the most sense. If you have never been involved in a legal battle before, you may have no idea where to start in preparing yourself. We can offer guidance as you complete the necessary paperwork and gather evidence related to the car accident. Key elements of proof can be things like:
- Police report
- Photographs of the accident
- Medical bill receipts
- Doctor evaluations
- Loss of pay statements from missing work
- PTO hours used to heal or undergo a procedure
- Driver’s information
- Witness statements
- Vehicle repair estimates and evaluation
Car accidents that are serious and caused substantial damage, can be enough to ruin a person’s life. The victim in such a scenario deserves restitution in order to get back onto his or her feet. Many may say that life isn’t fair, but our legal team believes in setting things right and obtaining a sense of justice for wrongdoings. We are available to talk further about your car accident and help you prepare for taking legal action against the driver at-fault. Please call us to book your free consult with an auto accident lawyer Denver CO clients recommend from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. Act quickly, before the situation becomes even more complicated.